GUSA Roundup: Bills, bills, bills (of rights)

On Sunday, members of the Georgetown University Student Association Senate gathered for their weekly meeting. GUSA Vice President Greg Laverriere (COL’12) gave the executive briefing in which he updated the senators on the Student Bill of Rights, a proposed addendum to the Student Code of Conduct that will outline student rights and responsibilities as well as resolve a few ambiguities.

This bill, according to Laverriere, marks the beginning of a process to improve the Student Code of Conduct. He stressed that this it only includes “five glaring rights and five glaring responsibilities” and that it is by no means finalized. The discussion and modification process for the bill will begin when they present the it to the Disciplinary Review Committee today.

“There are still conversations that need to be had with key primary stakeholders,” Laverriere added.

Vice Chair of the Endowment Commission Colton Malkerson (COL’13) then updated the room on the Student Activities Endowment. The commission is currently in the process of finalizing the time when the proposals still on the table will be put to referendum. Although the referendum was initially pitted for December, Malkerson said it will most likely happen in early January. The Senate will finalize the language of the proposals and referendum this semester. The proposals still on the table include Georgetown Energy’s townhouse solar panel initiative, the Social Innovation and Public Service Fund, and the New South Student Center.

Speaking of proposals still on the table, the Laverriere also briefed the Senate on one big proposal that isn’t. Though the administration declined the Healy Pub project, the spirit of the plan will live vicariously through other proposals, according to the steering committee. The two motivations for this Healy Pub—the need for student social space and increased student space near the Dahlgren/Healy area—will be addressed by other projects, ie the New South Student Center.

Finally, amid various other items, one senator brought up that the current GUSA logo is apparently illegal for undisclosed reasons. Since GUSA wouldn’t dare go logo-less, one idea brought up was to host a logo competition open to the student body. For the record, Vox fully endorses a campus-wide competition for the GUSA logo.

11 Comments on “GUSA Roundup: Bills, bills, bills (of rights)

  1. “There are still conversations that need to be had with key primary stakeholders.”

    That’s a phrase you get to use when you are involved in the Mid East Peace Process, not when you are drafting what will presumably be a grandiose, but ultimately symbolic document which DOPS will ignore.

    However, I do welcome the chance to redesign the GUSA logo.

  2. You are a sad and pathetic little man, and no matter how much bashing you do of a student government, it will never fill the black hole in your heart where love should be.

  3. @ @me

    Don’t feed the trolls, it only encourages them.

    My heart is significantly more substantial than the promises which GUSA candidates have made over the years. A pub, more money for clubs, freedom from SAC, more convenient GUTS busses, transparency, more student involvement, actually holding a fair presidential election! Years and years of disappointment after disappointment papered over with platitudes and further promises to reform.

    I’m cool if you want to hate me for what I do, but you could at least give GUSA some credit for making me what I am and what I do so darn easy.

  4. @Jacob

    – A pub will be built in New South. Sorry the Administration wouldn’t sell us the space in Healy. Ultimately we don’t have the power to eminent domain it, as much as I would like that.

    – When I entered GUSA in 2008, clubs got around $360,000 a year. This year they’ll get $1,200,000.

    – SAC is now a much more transparent, accountable, and responsive body. I’m sure they’d be the first to tell you that this is as a result of feedback from GUSA and their clubs.

    – GUTS buses are a work in progress, but you might have noticed the weekend shuttle loops.

    – All meetings are open. You can read everything we do online (, you can even watch the Senate streamed live. Granted, don’t feel like you have to.

    – Increasing turnout in Senate and Executive elections as well as increased student participation through the GUSA Fund, Student Advocacy Office, and the External Boards.

    – Our election commission has run three Executive elections, three Senate elections, several special elections, and one referendum in the past three years, all without incident. Elections are really something of a speciality.

    I get the trolling thing–I’ve trolled a bit in my time–but you might need to find some fresh pressure points. Thanks for keeping us honest!

  5. I have to say that I am still confused as to why student money (a large sum of it) from this once-in-a-lifetime fund should go to solar panels. I am all about innovation at Georgetown, but why should this student money be used for something that the university should ultimately pay for. And please don’t sell me on saving townhouse residents $40/month on utility bills as justifying this. Surely something more high impact for the development of community and student quality of life could be done with this money. Ten years from now it seems highly unlikely that many students will give a darn or see their Georgetown experience improved by this idea. It seems more like the personal project of a select group of people who should really try to find the money for their worthy cause elsewhere.

  6. Using that logic, couldn’t you say that student money shouldn’t be going to New South Student Center, as the University should be paying for it (even though it has a more direct benefit to the students). Also, SIPS only affects a small number of students, so shouldn’t that be considered a “select group of people who should really try to find money for their worthy cause elsewhere”?

    The fact is, this was a decision made last semester, and if you had a better idea, you should have proposed it. Many emails were sent out, and, after looking at all the ideas, none were left off the list that were more worthy than those that were chosen.

  7. The solar panels actually goes directly to students; the money they get from selling the energy to Pepco will funnel into the GUSA fund not the residents of townhouses, last I heard.

  8. @Babs: You’re right. The Solar plan involves GUSA paying for the installation of the solar panels with Endowment money and then receiving annual payments from the University based on energy savings. They will essentially be paying us the money they won’t have to pay Pepco because of the electricity produced by the solar panels, and we will then be turning around and allocating that money to student groups.

    Over the span of the project students will actually get more money back than they put in.

  9. As I understand it, students in townhouses pay for their own electricity and can use as much or as little as they want. The solar panels would generate electricity for the townhouses.

    Does GUSA using student activities fee money to pay for the solar panels give them the right to forever expropriate the savings from solar energy just because townhouse residents wouldn’t know the difference? In a sense, wouldn’t this proposal mean that townhouse residents are being taxed for their electricity use in order to subsidize student activities?

    These students might very well like what GUSA chooses to do with their money, but they’d probably like the opportunity to spend their money as they like even better.

  10. GUSA using the money does not mean these townhouses are subsidizing student activities fee. The electricity generated by the solar panels covers the electricity costs for the townhouses; however, the solar panels will produce more energy than is used by the houses, which we in turn sell back to Pepco. The money generated from the surplus electricity will go towards student activities.

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